BAM announced the donations yesterday as it prepared to unveil two years of renovations to the exterior of its main building, which houses the Howard Gilman Opera House, a movie theater, a caf_, and a shop. At a ceremony on October 24, the venue said, the 1908 structure will be renamed the Peter Jay Sharp Building, in honor of the real estate developer and arts philanthropist, who died in 1992.
The $8.6 million renovation included cleaning of the fa‹ade and restoration of terra-cotta ornamentation, brickwork, and stained-glass windows, as well as the reconstruction of a 15-foot parapet, removed from the building in the 1950s because of safety concerns. A 130-foot glass canopy will be added to the entry next year.
Created in 1861 as the home of the Philharmonic Society of Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Academy of Music moved to its current location in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn in 1908. Under the leadership of Harvey Lichtenstein in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, BAM became a leading presenter of new and avant-garde music, theater, and dance.